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In line with NEOM’s strategy and the Saudi Ports Authority’s efforts to transform local ports into globally competitive logistics hubs, the management of Duba Port was transferred from national maritime regulator Mawani, to NEOM in 2022.

Located in Oxagon, the home of advanced and clean industries in NEOM, the port, which is the primary seaport of entry to the northwest of Saudi Arabia, is renamed as Port of NEOM. Since the transfer, key capabilities have been expanded to match the rising volume of cargo coming into NEOM, including container and general cargo handling.

Nadhmi Al Nasr, Chief Executive Officer, NEOM said: “The Port of NEOM will be pivotal to the continued commercial competitiveness, economic diversification and maritime trade ambitions of the Kingdom. Our vision is to build one of the world’s most technologically advanced, efficient and sustainable ports with the first fully integrated and automated supply chain and logistics network, and this first phase of development is a step towards realizing that.

Located on the Red Sea, at the crossroads of global trading routes, the port will be a critical enabler for NEOM and a catalyst for broader economic development in the region. Our investment to date of over SAR 7.5 billion and our intention to open the first advanced terminal in 2025 demonstrates our commitment to the vision.”

“The Port of NEOM will be a critical enabler to the overall build, operations and economic ambitions of NEOM – from the import of goods and materials during the development phase and as a new global port serving the region. This is particularly important as development accelerates and businesses across NEOM come on-stream,” said Sean Kelly, Managing Director – Port of NEOM.

Bolstering connectivity to global markets, the first fixed call container service is being operated by CMA CGM – a global player in sea, air, land, and logistics solutions. With Port of NEOM added to their existing JEDDEX service, this is the first direct connection to and from NEOM through CMA CGM’s global network. In addition, the port sees multiple ad-hoc vessel calls with consignments carrying materials and goods that support the ongoing development across NEOM.

Contracts for design, dredging and quay wall construction, and cargo handling equipment have been recently awarded. Jacobs was named as the main design consultant with Moffatt and Nichol, IGO and Trent as main subconsultants; the redesign project, valued at over SAR 180 million, spans terminals, warehouses, rail delivery, infrastructure, a sustainable energy network and more.

To participate in the competitive bidding process for the first phase of the dredging and quay wall tender, a joint venture was formed between BESIX and Modern Building Leaders, who partnered with Boskalis. BESIX, together with Boskalis, are the first European contractors to be awarded a design and build lump sum contract for over SAR 2 billion with NEOM.

Boskalis will be responsible for the deepening and widening of the main access channel; in line with Oxagon and NEOM’s sustainable ambitions, there will be zero material discharge with recovery and reuse of materials and structures prioritized to construct earthwork platforms for the development of Oxagon. BESIX-MBL will be responsible for the design and build of over 3km of quay walls of variant types utilizing innovative construction methodologies and materials. As part of its efforts to reduce the project’s carbon footprint, low carbon steel frames will be used for the construction of the quay walls.

Kelly added: “Adopting a sustainable approach to the port development, mirroring the guidelines developed that center on NEOM’s core sustainability principles is a critical requirement in our tenders – the consortium of companies collectively demonstrated the ability to deliver our ambition.”

As part of the investment into the port’s development, several crane and container equipment contracts have been awarded to Saudi Liebherr Company Ltd and Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC). Saudi Liebherr was awarded contracts for ten mobile harbor cranes with over SAR 200 million in investment. ZPMC has been awarded contracts for ten ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes, 30 electric rubber tiered gantry (ERTGS) cranes and six automated rail mounted gantry cranes (ARMG) valued at over SAR 1 billion; ZPMC will be working with Siemens Europe to deliver the automation components.

By the beginning of 2025, the first Container Terminal will be operational with integrated supply chain and logistics solutions. When completed, the port will operate at net carbon zero levels with 100% renewable energy at source, set to make it the world’s most sustainable next-generation port.

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